2827 Fort Missoula Rd.
Missoula, MT 59804
P: (406) 327-4334
F: (406) 327-4582
Mon. – Fri.
7:30 am – 5 pm
24/7 Emergency Imaging
Angiograms are used to diagnose and treat blood vessel diseases and conditions. Angiography exams produce pictures of major blood vessels throughout the body. In some cases, contrast material is used.
Doctors perform angiography using:
- X-rays with catheters
In catheter angiography, a thin plastic tube, called a catheter, is inserted into an artery through a small incision in the skin. Once the catheter is guided to the area being examined, a contrast material is injected through the tube and images are captured using a small dose of x-rays.
One of the most common reasons for angiograms is to see if there is a blockage or narrowing in a blood vessel that may interfere with the normal flow of blood through the body. In many cases, the interventional radiologist can treat a blocked blood vessel without surgery at the same time the angiogram is performed. Interventional radiologists treat blockages with techniques called angioplasty and thrombolysis.
Additional reasons for performing an Angiogram include:
- Aneurysms - an area of a blood vessel that bulges or balloons out
- Cerebral vascular disease - such as stroke or bleeding in the brain
- Blood vessel malformations
An Angiogram procedure requires an appointment and a physician order. Call (406) 327-4334 to schedule an appointment.
You should inform your physician of any medications being taken and if there are any allergies, especially to iodinated contrast materials. Also inform your doctor about recent illnesses or other medical conditions.
Women should always inform their physician and x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. Many imaging tests are not performed during pregnancy so as not to expose the fetus to radiation. If an x-ray is necessary, precautions will be taken to minimize radiation exposure to the baby. See the Safety page for more information about pregnancy and x-rays.
If you are breastfeeding at the time of the exam, ask your doctor how to proceed. It may help to pump breast milk ahead of time and keep it on hand for use until contrast material has cleared from your body, about 24 hours after the test. However, the most recent American College of Radiology (ACR) Manual on Contrast Media reports that studies show the amount of contrast absorbed by the infant during breastfeeding is extremely low. For further information please consult the ACR Manual on Contrast Media and its references.
You will be asked to remove some of your clothes during the exam. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, removable dental appliances, eye-glasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the x-ray images.
If you are going to be given a sedative during the procedure, you may be asked not to eat or drink anything for four to eight hours before your exam. Be sure that you have clear instructions from imaging center staff.
If you are sedated, you should not drive for 24 hours after your exam and you should arrange for someone to drive you home.